The Intercontinental Carlton Hotel is legendary in Cannes
. Socially, it has played host to a number of celebrities and members of the jet set, which it welcomes every year for each of Cannes’ lauded festivals (such as the Cannes Film Festival in May and the yachting festival in September). This is where Grace Kelly filmed To Catch A Thief
in 1955 and was rumoured to have met Prince Rainier – she later became his Princess. Elton John has even filmed a music video here. The architecture provides the stunning backdrop to all this decadence. Built by Charles Dalmas in 1911, it is a wonderful example of Belle Epoque architecture. This period was an optimistic one in French history (1871–1914): society underwent significant transformation; there was great progress in the arts and sciences; and France wasn’t fighting any wars. It is said that the domed roofs of the hotel are modelled on the breasts of a famous Spanish actress and courtesan called Carolina ‘La Belle’ Otero. This building is unmissable, for cultural as well as aesthetic reasons.